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VIDEO: Mavis Bank bush fire could cost more than $500 million - Gov't

Published:Monday | May 11, 2015 | 5:56 PM
Fire personnel tackle a bush fire in a section of East Rural St Andrew today

The Agriculture Ministry says it will take approximately $300 million to replace the coffee and other plants lost in East Rural St Andrew as a result of a major bush fire.

But the State Minister in the Agriculture Ministry, Luther Buchanan, has cautioned that losses could climb to as much as $500 million.

In the meantime, Buchanan said coffee farmers will suffer more than $30 million in losses each year for the next three years.

He made the declaration during a tour of the affected communities in East Rural St Andrew this afternoon.

Buchanan was joined by a team from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, the Social Development Commission and Mayor of Kingston, Senator Angella Brown Burke.

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has called for the Government to declare East Rural St Andrew a disaster zone to allow for greater relief to be brought to the affected farmers and residents.


JAS president Senator Norman Grant

Senator Grant notes that residents of Flamstead, Lime Tree, Tower Hill, Salt Hill, Robert’s Field and Craig Hill have lost farms and houses.


JAS president Senator Norman Grant

Last week, coffee farmer, Joan Gordon-Webley said the fire could leave billions of dollars in losses and have wider implications for the economy.

It is still unclear how the fire started, but it’s believed that it started on May 2 in the community of Mount Charles and quickly spread.